THE MOON: CAN THE MOON BE OF ANY EARTHLY USE?

LOOKING down at the pitted surface of the moon from a height of 70 miles last December, Apollo 8 Astronaut Frank Borman described it as "vast, lonely and forbidding—a great expanse of nothing." But looks can be deceiving. As desolate as the moon appears, scientists have little doubt that man will soon work, play, and perhaps even prosper on his bleak satellite.

The environment that makes the moon so hostile to terrestrial life is, paradoxically, precisely what makes the moon so potentially valuable. The absence of atmosphere,...

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